"The Push want to make a commitment to young female performers in all their genres, shapes, forms."
Victorian non-profit youth music organisation The Push announced a brand new initiative at Saturday afternoon's Hens In The Cock House ... Shake A Tail Feather panel, having discussed and analysed the various challenges and inequalities of women in the music industry with noted US gender queer artist JD Samson, One Of One's Jo Cameron, Music Victoria's Cassandra Pace, producer and sound engineer Anna Laverty and Listen Records' Chloe Turner.
Announced by The Push's Mel Krause, she said, "Some of the statistics around women performers, particularly from bodies like APRA, are that there are way more male performers than women ... The APRA songwriters are 80% men registered and 20% women which is really sad.
"The Push want to make a commitment to young female performers in all their genres, shapes, forms, and we're going to run a mentoring programming that will include a young women's development weekend, which will have both a performance and a development aspect. We're going to hear from other great women like Anna [Laverty], people like Jo [Cameron], people like JD [Samson], and try and help develop our female performers. Things like Listen can really increase our women's visibility and hopefully increase the profile of women performers in this great state of ours.
She continued, "We're really really excited about it, the women will do the development then they'll do many hours with a mentor, and then plenty of workshops and hands on activities, helping me run Face The Music for example as well as other great things. We would love to invite young women performers, hopefully there's a few of you in the room, to get in touch next year and apply for our program and hopefully we can increase the visibility of young women across our state."
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The topic of women in the music industry - their struggles, successes and the general lack of women in this day and age in the entertainment world - has been a hot button issue in recent months, particularly at music conferences such as BIGSOUND, which recently hosted the harrowing keynote from Pitchfork's Senior Editor, Jessica Hopper.
This morning, JD Samson also spoke about the idea of tokenism, and feeling unwelcome and an afterthought at music conferences: "I could imagine them thinking, "Oh shit, we're going to look really bad if we don't have a woman or a queer person on this panel."